I had a conversation with a friend the other day about prayer. I've never prayed, I don't consider myself religious, and quite frankly, the whole idea has always been quite foreign to me. However, after talking with her it got me thinking. Although I am not a religious person, I am spiritual. While I don't necessarily believe in God, I'm not convinced that there isn't "something" bigger than me and the world.
My friend explained how prayer has helped her in the past and how she uses it in her life. I couldn't help but relate it to my life and how I process things when life has given me or someone in my life "lemons". Am I actually praying and I don't even know it? Or am I meditating? And what exactly is the difference between the two? I'm slightly embarrassed to say: I googled "what is prayer?" Always helpful, Google provided me with a bazillion different definitions. (Not surprising because prayer is so personal...I assume.) Anyway, what I realized through my brief research is that while I do not pray in the conventional manner, the closest thing in my life is the time I spend working through issues, problems, obsessions, etc in my mind. And I usually do this while walking.
I walk for exercise and because I'm forced to (or else deal with a hyper doggy), but my almost daily walks are also my time to think and process. While my legs move at 4 miles per hour, my mind races at 100 miles per hour. I think and analyze and reanalyze and then (to quote Dharma and Greg) I "put it in a bubble and blow it away". I realized that similar to prayer where problems are discussed with God and then put in His/Her hands, I do my best to work through problems but then eventually release them to...the universe I guess? And all in the course of five miles!
Today as I walked through Golden Gate Park (on a beautiful sixty degree winter day!) I thought about how thankful I am for my walks-my own personal form of prayer.